Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 year in review

2018 is just about over, and it seemed to move fast too. As we look back at the year that was we look forward to the year that will be 2019. Here are some important stories we noted on this blog and other news in general that we hadn't followed.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Free rides on CTA for New Year's Eve

If only I had somewhere to be on New Year's to take advantage of this from CTA. Here's hoping you're ringing in New Years' safely especially if you're going somewhere to party.

From NBC Chicago:
New Year’s Eve revelers will once again be able to get home safely, and cheaply, thanks to the Chicago Transit Authority.

Beginning at 10 p.m. New Year’s Eve, all CTA buses and trains will be free to ride for all riders as part of a sponsorship deal with Miller Lite beer.

Customers will not have to touch their Ventra cards to take advantage of the free rides, and will be able to ride until 4 a.m. without cost.
And this is kind of harsh
Customers that touch their Ventra cards to turnstiles or on buses will not be eligible for refunds, the agency cautions.
Well if you read this blog, you know now don't tap your Ventra cards. And don't give any money to anyone who will tap you onto a train or bus because at least from 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM on New Years Eve you will ride for free on CTA. There's no need for that new emerging hustle on that holiday...

BTW, here's an ig post from CTA about this, at least now we have something visual about the free rides on New Years Eve. Just remember don't accept any hustler who will tap you onto a train or bus for a small fee on New Years Eve from 10 PM to 4 AM.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Brian Sleet R.I.P.

Wow! This one caught me off guard!

Mr. Sleet was a young man who is another who when I came to 6th ward events in the capacity of this blog also greeted me with a handshake and a smile. I also found him to be very approachable. I've seen that he was very passionate about tackling the issue of Chicago's sixth ward.

He was a candidate for ward 6 alderman in 2011 and once that election was over served as the chief of staff to Ald. Roderick Sawyer. Then he left that position to be a campaign manager for current state's attorney Kim Foxx and also was an advisor to 4th ward Alderman Sophia King. He was a consultant for Kivvit.

BTW, his passing has been noted in the media with this Sun-Times article and I heard about it on the radio this morning. Also search for Brian Sleet on twitter and you will find a number of tweets paying tribute to him.

Condolences to his family and his many friends.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

CBS Chicago: Englewood hopes for more holiday shoppers

[VIDEO] Sorry to have missed this story when it first aired. It's great to see Englewood represented positively during this holiday season. As I have no problem saying the activists of Englewood especially from R.A.G.E. should be a model for a number of neighborhood organizations. Whether middle-class or low-income.

And this idea of a neighborhood branded store selling neighborhood branded apparel could be something that should be replicated. What do you think?

Tribune: Race, poverty and fair housing: Chicago's landmark Gautreaux case winds down

Just wanted to share this with you. Housing and real estate has been a frequent topic of this blog over the years. And this is probably something you might not know much about.
A federal judge, several lawyers and representatives of the Chicago Housing Authority on Friday formalized a special date: July 31, 2024. If all goes as planned, that last Wednesday of July more than five years from now will close out one of the nation’s longest and most impactful housing discrimination cases.

Dorothy Gautreaux, an Altgeld Gardens resident and lead plaintiff when the case was filed in 1966, died two years later at age 41. But her activism had helped launch a movement extending beyond the landmark legal battle that originated in Chicago: Her cause, housing fairness, also had broadened the goals of the civil rights movement. The anti-discrimination marches of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had come to embrace equal access to housing as a national cause.

For more than 40 years and with countless twists and turns, CHA has been trying to reverse what the U.S. Supreme Court determined in its 1976 Gautreaux ruling: Federal and local housing authorities in Chicago were violating the constitutional and civil rights of public housing tenants by concentrating and isolating them in low-income neighborhoods.

Over time, the court’s ruling slowed the purposeful crowding of black tenants in concentrated high-rise developments and accelerated the distribution of housing vouchers to integrate black families into communities throughout the city and suburbs. That remains the case today.

The Supreme Court decision also spurred CHA to build and renovate thousands of units and scatter them in more prosperous areas of Chicago. And it nudged a housing revolution, led by former Mayor Richard M. Daley, that included the teardown of the notorious Cabrini-Green public housing complex and others comparable to it.
BTW, the Sun-Times also wrote about this recently.

Friday, December 21, 2018

#ChiMayor19 Mayoral candidates on an elected school board
Another issue that the 21 candidates for mayor who are still vying for a spot on the ballot next year will likely have to contend with. What are each candidate's position on an elected Board of Education:
As of Wednesday, 15 of 21 candidates responded to our inquiries or released statements about whether they would support an elected school board, which would require a change to state law. And while the majority said they support an elected board outright, two of the candidates who’ve raised the most cash in the race so far — Bill Daley and Gery Chico — each described visions of a “hybrid” school board whose majority would be appointed by the mayor, while community members would select the remainder.

It’s unclear how much power community members would actually have under a hybrid model. Some critics fear that the mayor’s appointees would function as a bloc or allow the mayor too much sway over the board, undermining democratic choice.

But, it’s important to note: Researchers lack consensus about whether elected school boards or mayoral control results in better fiscal management and student performance. Many factors affect those outcomes, like student demographics, funding levels, and quality of leadership at schools, districts, and in city and state government. But, as noted in this 2016 analysis of school governance systems by Pew Charitable Trusts, “there is broad agreement on at least one conclusion:

“Governance systems that produce uncertainty, distrust, and ambiguous accountability can impede districts’ progress on any front,” regardless of how they are constituted.
If you want to know my position on this issue although I'm also not running for mayor either.

h/t Progress IL fb page

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

#ChiMayor2019 What Does the Next Chicago Mayor Have in Mind for Affordable Housing?

From Next City. Something to consider citywide:
The main portion of the forum consisted of questions presented by representatives of each of the co-sponsoring organizations.

As the first questioner, Raymon Barrera, Logan Square Neighborhood Association inquired about closing loopholes in the Affordable Requirements Ordinance that impede on the development of family-sized units. In response, Enyia cited growing up in a large family and understanding the acute need for housing that is adequate to accommodate families. Lightfoot called for outright elimination of the opt-out clause of the ARO.

Reina Meja of ONE Northside asked about Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) reform and preserving public housing. All the candidates present broadly criticized CHA. Preckwinkle cited evidence that public housing units were being torn down and replaced with commercial developments. She criticized the finding, and called for 1-for-1 replacement of public housing units torn down. She also stated that public housing should be more equitably distributed throughout the city, with more units located in affluent areas of the city, rather than concentrated in low-income areas.

Annie Hodges of Kenwood Oakland Community Organization asked specifically about each candidate’s support for rent control — specifically, about lifting the statewide ban on rent control that has been in place since 1997. Green was particularly passionate in his support of rent control, stating that the real test would be whether a future mayor would resist developers and their financial clout and “stand with the people”. McCarthy deviated from other candidates on this topic, claiming that broad-based rent controls were not the answer, that landlords would simply cut services in less affluent areas to maintain their profit margins. His response was met with a significant number of red cards — but also a smattering of green cards.

Jon Adams of ONE Northside inquired about raising revenue to provide services for homeless individuals, like the 1.2 percent transfer tax on high-end real estate transactions proposed by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. Mayor Emanuel shot down the idea earlier this year. In contrast, all the candidates present agreed to the idea.

Lanessa Young of Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP) asked candidates about their positions on obtaining a community benefits agreement for the proposed Obama Center and additional developments. This question generated enthusiastic support from candidates and spirited responses from the audience. Green specifically emphasized the need to separate admiration for Obama from allowing the Obama Foundation to ignore the needs of the community. McCarthy expressed support for community benefits agreements, but added that “stimulus measures” were also needed.

In response to a question about environmental justice from Cheryl Johnson with People for Community Recovery, there was general consensus around the need for more accountability. Green stated that the city should make a serious effort to address lead contamination, stating “we should be dealing with this problem now. We don’t want to be like Flint in 20 years.”

Monica Dillon of Neighbors for Affordable Housing posed the final question about fair housing and aligning city departments and planning processes to advance equity for citizens. She cited the O’Hare region, which is rich in jobs but lacking in affordable housing. The candidates expressed consensus. McCarthy in particular, stated bluntly that Chicago was a place where “you have to have a guy to get things done,” and insisted, “that this situation needs to change.”
h/t CapFax

Keith Tate R.I.P.

Keith Tate was president of the Chatham Avalon Park Community Council. He had retired from his long time role in the Chatham neighborhood in recent years. Had met him occasionally years when available for events in Chatham for this blog and always met me with a smile and a hand shake.

Condolences to his family and friends.

Here's a post from Worlee Glover's Concerned Citizen's of Chatham marking his untimely passing.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

103rd & Cottage Grove Two Calumet district police officers struck and killed by a train #Ward09

[VIDEO] To start two police officers identified as Eduardo Marmolejo and Conrad Gary were chasing a suspect when they were hit by a South Shore train near 103rd Street and Cottage Grove. While we do have the above video that aired on the local news how about a Block Club Chi write-up:
Two Chicago Police officers who chased a gunman onto Metra tracks in the Rosemoor neighborhood were hit and killed by a passing train Monday night, the latest tragedy to rock the Chicago Police Department.

Officers Eduardo Marmolejo, 37, and Conrad Gary, 31, died instantly when they were hit by the outbound South Shore train, which was traveling as fast at 70 mph, Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said.

Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the “devastating tragedy” happened on the tracks near 103rd and Cottage Grove.

The Calumet (5th) District officers, partners for the night, responded to a “ShotSpotter” automatic detection of gunshots at 101st and Dauphin just after 6 p.m. Monday.

A suspected gunman ran up the train embankment at 103rd and Cottage Grove, and the officers followed, Johnson said.

They were struck by the South Shore train at 6:21 p.m. on tracks owned by Metra.

“By doing the most dangerous thing any police officer can do, and that is to chase an individual with a gun, these brave young men were consumed with identifying a potential threat to their community and put the safety of others above their own,” Johnson said.
The crowded train, part of the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, had departed Chicago’s Millennium Station en route to Indiana. Investigators went through the train interviewing passengers before they were transferred to buses to finish their commute.

Johnson said a gun was found on the scene, and a “person of interest” was being questioned.
What's mentioned in this article are the other tragedies of the police department during the course of 2018. Especially the most recent death of a police officer during the Mercy Hospital shootings. Of course the suicide of police officers especially two of them who served the same district (5th District - Calumet) as the officers who were hit by that train.

Also I want to note that as dangerous a job being a police officer is, they have gotten a bad rap as there has been some bad publicity. However, let's not forget how being a police officer is a dangerous job and how much we need them to ultimately work to keep our neighborhoods safe.

Capitol Fax at the City Club of Chicago

[VIDEO] Sorry I didn't advertise this earlier as it was noted on his blog before he closed it down for the weekend. Rich Miller of the CapFax blog gave a talk at the City Club of Chicago on Monday - wait showing those vids have become a recurring feature lately. Mainly his talk involved the status of Illinois since the ascension of J.B. Pritzker as Governor-elect of Illinois. He coupled this with fundraising for the Lutheran Social Services of Illinois.

What Miller is right about is that it's been war after war in this state and it started with the now disgraced Rod Blagojevich and then Michael Madigan as the top legislative Democrat playing with then Governor Pat Quinn like a cat toy and then the ineffectiveness of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. Now we're hoping the Pritzker might get some necessary things done for this state such as a capital bill although there are certainly plenty of pressing issues facing this state right now.

Duration of this video is about 36 mins.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Garry McCarthy: We need to change Chicago's governing culture #ChiMayo2019

[VIDEO] You might remember McCarthy he was a NYPD police officer who later went to Newark, New Jersey to serve as a director of public safety under then Mayor Corey Booker. Then from roughly 2011 to 2015 he was .Mayor Rahm Emanuel's police superintendent.

Now he's running for mayor and he live William Daley gave a talk with the City Club of Chicago. This is roughly an hour video via Illinois Channel.

Question is could this native New Yorker gain your vote to become the next mayor of Chicago based on his speech to the City Club.

Friday, December 14, 2018

What's going on with Ald. Burke?

I wanted to cover the events of this week as I saw this on twitter from Carol Marin
If you want to know what's up here's an article we still don't know why the feds are interested in the long-time chairman of the city council's finance committee.
Federal agents returned to the City Hall offices of Ald. Ed Burke on Thursday, two weeks after they carried out unprecedented raids on the longtime alderman’s downtown and ward offices, sources said.

Federal investigators were looking for information they didn’t find during the first raid, sources said. The nature of the information sought was unknown.

On Nov. 29, federal investigators descended on Burke’s ward and City Hall offices and covered the windows with brown butcher paper. At City Hall, investigators spent at least five hours inside and left with boxes of records and computers.
They also showed up at the home of political operative Peter Andrews Jr., the longtime head of Burke’s ward organization. They seized Burke’s cellphone.

Sources at the time told the Sun-Times that the initial raid was not triggered by Burke’s administration of the city’s $100 million workers compensation program, nor was it tied to Burke’s property tax appeals work for the Trump Tower.
Speaking of which there were moves to take away the administration of worker's comp away from Burke's finance committee.
A plan introduced before the City Council on Wednesday would strip Ald. Edward Burke of his control of the city workers’ compensation system, nearly two weeks after federal agents raided his offices.

The ordinance sponsored by Ald. John Arena and other progressive aldermen would place the $100 million-per-year program under the control of the corporation counsel, who is appointed by the mayor. The corporation counsel would have the power to designate people to oversee the fund and to approve payment vouchers.
If you want to watch a video talking about this from CBS 2 [VIDEO]
What's this? An allegation against Ald. Burke? He's using his political muscle with regards to the dealings of a city department?
Former Chicago Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans is laying out a bill of particulars against Ald. Edward Burke (14th), alleging that he worked repeatedly behind the scenes to inappropriately pressure her and her staff on airport business.

In a memo to the Sun-Times, Evans, who resigned earlier this year, gave five examples of Burke or his staff allegedly interfering or overstepping.
 Well, time will tell what the feds are looking into with the powerful Alderman.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Tribune: Mayor Rahm Emanuel floats port district land as Chicago casino location #Serving17

Even though Rahm Emanuel will only remain mayor until May 2019, he seems to be coming up with some proposals. He's still trying to use what's left of his political heft to come up with some ideas for the city:
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday floated a port district site on the Far Southeast Side as the possible location for a Chicago casino, if state lawmakers finally grant the city the long-sought gambling palace.

In a meeting with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board, Emanuel noted his “love-hate” relationship with the idea of a casino but said if the city finally builds one it should be away from the Loop and McCormick Place. Instead, he said it should bring economic development to an area of the city that needs it, before floating an Illinois International Port District site near Pullman as “an example.”

The land, just off the 111th Street exit on the Bishop Ford Freeway, currently is home to the Harborside International golf course with some harbor operations and terminals nearby on Lake Calumet. The port district that owns the land is a joint city-state entity.

“If you go down to the port authority where the golf course is, there’s enough land there for both a hotel and a casino,” Emanuel said. “That would be a big boon economically to the Southeast Side of the city.”

Emanuel made the remarks on the same day he gave a speech to aldermen on his recommendations to address the city’s pension funding shortfalls moving forward. The mayor’s plan included revenue from a proposed Chicago casino as part of the answer.
Personally I'm with this, who says a proposed casino has to be in or near downtown Chicago. Put one in a neighborhood that's struggling. In this case Pullman, and then again hopefully there are other proposals.

However, to be honest it seems like forever that there's been discussions of a Chicago casino that seems to have a tendency to fall through. So perhaps deciding on a site or finally building one will still take years. Wait and see I suppose.

h/t to state Sen. Elgie Sims FB page hence why I used the #Serving17 hashtag.

#tbt The demolition of the South Side Masonic Temple earlier this year

The demolition of the South Side Masonic Temple - 6400 S. Green St - took place earlier in this year. Will share the three posts I wrote about that unfortunate event after sharing a photo with link to one J.R. Schmidt who wrote about going to Englewood in February '18 and seeing this architecturally significant building being demolished.
J.R. Schmidt photo
And then he writes: 
Built in 1921, the temple was abandoned in the 1980s.  Preservation Chicago had it on the “endangered” list for perhaps a decade.  Now we’ve lost another bit of our history and our culture.

I don’t know what is planned for the southwest corner of 64th and Green Streets.  Here’s hoping it will be something worthwhile.
Via Marathon Pundit
The pic above is a more recent pic courtesy of John Ruberry in 2016 who in recent years had taken up urban exploration.

Here are our posts of the temple's demolition from earlier this year.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Today's debate: Can you serve a community non-profit and run for office? #6WardChicago

Today's debate, whether or not officers of community based organizations, churches, etc. should be allow to run for office while simultaneously working for these organizations. It's something you're probably following over at Concerned Citizen's of Chatham since last night at least.
And a candidate for 6th ward alderman addresses what was seen at Concerned Citizens of Chatham.
We were tagged in a comment to that post so Ms. Foster-Bonner made sure we got her response!

Were you caught in the AM delays on the CTA Red Line?

I was on the train early this morning and was told by a motorman that someone got hit by a train  at 63rd and we should head upstairs for alternate service. There were loud speaker announcements with regards to a medical emergency at 63rd. Power was said to be turned off due to this incident from 63rd to 95th Street.

I made sure to retweet this CTA update.
Service was restored by 8:30 AM according to this Sun-Times article. Trains started rolling by 6:40 AM. So if you were already on a train and I saw one at 69th that had just pulled out of the station and was stopped there, they may have had to wait almost an hour. Anyway the Sun-Times article below.
I'm sorry to report according to the Sun-Times the person who had been hit by a train was killed. The incident was said to have occurred at 5:30 AM, however, by the time I heard about this incident I was already on the train by 5:10 AM.

If you were caught up in the delays this morning how was your commute? Did you get to where you needed to go on-time?

The Chicago way?

Outside of the scope of this blog we have an interesting story out of the south side's 13th ward. A college student is seeking to run for Alderman there, and as it turns out he's only up against one of the more powerful Democrat organizations in the city.

The 13th Ward has long been controlled by Illinois House of Representatives speaker Michael Madigan. He's the one whom our soon to be outgoing Governor Bruce Rauner claimed is actually running the state of Illinois.

Anyway, there's a reason why Madigan has been a power to reckon with in Springfield for over 30 years. All you have to do is see what's being pulled in the 13th ward and his way of keeping his handpicked Alderman in office.

Check out this recent story from CBS Chicago [VIDEO]
And here's yet another story where CBS 2's Derrick Blakely tracks down these voters who signed revocation affidavits [VIDEO]
Also you might have seen something about this on the CapFax last Friday. It explains further what you see in the above two videos candidate David Krupa files 1,703 signatures well above the necessary 473 to qualify for the ballot. Then somehow affidavits that revoke signatures on Krupa's petitions were filed with more than 2,700 signatures. Why the overkill?

Anyway for anyone looking to run for office this is certainly something to learn from. Another trick most of us would've never heard about until now.

I'll have to admire Mr. Krupa a college freshman who decides to put himself forward as a candidate for Alderman and only serves to go up against a powerful political organization. Who knows if he has a future in politics, but I would consider this ambitious!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Uptown Update: Share the Warmth! Donate Winter Gear To Our 46th Ward Students!

I know outside of the scope of this blog, but I never minded sharing the charitable aspects seen around the city especially from the good folks in Uptown. And of course someone in our local schools on the south side also don't have winter gear as we head into winter.

If you know of any coat drives in the community send us an e-mail, a tweet, or even let us know on our ig page. We'd love to hear about it.

ABC 7: Man shot while campaigning for political candidate in West Englewood

[VIDEO] This incident happened on Sunday and you probably heard about it that night on the 10:00 PM newscast. I would find this unacceptable, however, I would accept the explanation provided by Ald. Raymond Lopez (Ward 15) as it happened in his ward. It probably was gang members shooting at these campaign workers and wounding one only because they don't know them.

I found a write-up about this at the Tribune:
A volunteer for a candidate for alderman of the 15th Ward was shot while on Facebook Live as he was out canvassing the West Englewood neighborhood Sunday, officials said.

Maxwell Omowale Justice, 32, a volunteer for the Joseph Williams campaign, is speaking to the camera when shots can be heard in the video.

The shooting took place while Williams was a few houses away with his two children, as a group from the campaign tried to get affidavits from residents following a challenge to Williams’ petitions, said Erin Ellenbolt, Williams’ campaign manager.

“Maxwell had just shown up and he was handing out flyers as well and trying to get signatures,” Ellenbolt said.

Police said the shooting happened about 1:45 p.m. Sunday in the 6600 block of South Marshfield Avenue. Justice was hit once in the leg when a man in a red ski mask opened fire as Justice stood on the sidewalk. No arrests have been made.

Justice drove himself to Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, where he was treated and released. Reached Monday morning, Justice said he was resting and wasn’t ready to speak more. In social media posts, he shared an image of his bleeding leg.
Also I'm with this:
Ald. Raymond Lopez, who currently serves the 15th Ward and is seeking re-election, put out a statement about the shooting Sunday.

“Campaign or not, it is completely unacceptable and unfortunate that someone would feel compelled to shoot at someone simply because they didn’t recognize them from the community,” Lope wrote. “This is the same type of mindless gun violence we have seen in other neighborhoods. It must be confronted and addressed directly and without excuses.”

BTW, this was a mindless shooting for what I would consider frivolous reasons (they didn't recognize the canvassers). This wasn't political at all and we should be disturbed if the shooting occurred for political reasons. We should also be disturbed if without knowing all the facts that anyone would consider than any candidate is involved with this incident.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Sun-Times: Where 16 Chicago mayoral candidates stand on TIFs #ChiMayor19

Feel free to read those 16 candidates' full responses. What are their positions on Tax Increment Financing districts? What would they use them for? TIFs has been a hot button issue for our city over the years.

Bill Daley at the City Club of Chicago #ChiMayor19

[VIDEO] Bill Daley is not only the son of the late former Mayor Richard J. Daley, he's also the brother of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, and brother of Cook County Commissioner John Daley. He's a former executive at SBC Communications, JP Morgan Chase & Co. in addition to being a former Secretary of Commerce under President Bill Clinton and a former White House Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama.

Now he wants to be Mayor of Chicago, and late last month he was at the City Club of Chicago. This aired recently on the Illinois Channel and saw a portion of his talk Saturday morning on CAN-TV channel 21. The above video duration is about 50 minutes.

One of the things that stuck out at me was how he declared that Chicago will remain a sanctuary city. He's right about how immigrants gave the "Windy City" the character that it does today. However what do you all think about Chicago remaining a "sanctuary city"?

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Crain's: How Pritzker's lieutenant plans to use her ‘lite guv' platform

From Prtizker transition site
If you don't already know state representative Juliana Stratton will become the first Black to be elected Illinois' Lieutenant Governor serving with Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker once they're installed in office next month. Here's what Crain's says not only about her background but her role as Lt. Gov.
Now she is set to be inaugurated as the first African-American lieutenant governor of Illinois. While that No. 2 job is long on influence and short on statutory authority, Stratton plans to hammer home criminal justice and equality, themes that have dominated her life. She and Pritzker inherit a financially stressed state still digging out of a two-year budget crisis and facing pockets of population decline statewide.

Stratton, 53, is chairing their transition team, which is pursuing a plan to create a new office of criminal justice reform and economic opportunity that she will lead. Small-business loans for communities that have experienced disinvestment, from Chicago to East St. Louis, and equitably awarding state contracts across the state will be priorities, she says.

She's also eager to take one statutory role, overseeing the Governor's Rural Affairs Council. Aside from that, a bevy of transition committees studying issues from education to infrastructure to energy will recommend policies that further define her job, Stratton says.

Parts of the state outside Chicago will be skeptical, with her reception dependent on policy outcomes, says Kent Redfield, a retired University of Illinois at Springfield political science professor. "If good things are happening, it's much easier to be the face of that, and for people to be positive about the lieutenant governor," Redfield says.

Stratton's warmup was as a state representative for the 5th District, a skinny strip of land running from 79th Street through Bronzeville, up Michigan Avenue to the Gold Coast—a true tale of two cities. When it came to economic development, constituents on the north end complained about parking problems, while those on the south end couldn't find a place to buy a cup of coffee, she says.
If you want to know more about what the future Pritzker-Stratton team plans to do once they're installed in office visit their transition website.

The progress on the 95th terminal

This is really old news to most of us as it was shown on the local news last month. The connecting bridge between the north and south terminals at 95/Dan Ryan had been installed and work continues on that bridge and the new north terminal on 95th Street.

In the ig post below CTA shares some of their own photos from the continuing project.

A post shared by Chicago Transit Authority (@chicagocta) on

10 years ago the FBI arrested a sitting Illinois Governor

We're going back to something we covered over a decade ago on this blog. We also followed some of the ensuing consequences of what happened with this story.
This was on the CapFax on Tuesday. We're approaching the 10 year anniversary where Rod Blagojevich was arrested by the feds. In this post, we see an article from Chicago Magazine where we see the thoughts of the two FBI agents who came to arrest Blago.
Here's the most incredulous part of this:
After a couple of minutes, Dan knocked on the door and told Blagojevich that we needed to go. He came out with a toothbrush in his mouth. We repeated that he needed to get dressed right away and come with us.

The governor picked out a blue Nike jogging suit, white socks, and running shoes to wear. As we prepared to leave, he turned and asked: “How does my hair look?”

“You look fine,” we told him, astonished by the question. It was as if he were preparing for a press conference. As we brought him downstairs, his daughters remained asleep, for which we were grateful. You never want a child to witness a parent being arrested.
I appreciate the consideration of the FBI agents on the scene. While I know Blago still has his supporterss, how selfish to put his own daughters into this situation.

Ultimately he would be impeached by the Illinois House of Representatives and removed from office in a impeachment trail by the Illinois Senate. Later he was convicted on corruption charges in federal court and is currently serving his 14-year sentence.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Kwanzaa on the 9 #6WardChicago

Sorry for the late notice on this, but if you're not busy this Saturday here's a flyer for an event to take place on Saturday on 532 E. 79th Street!

Krispy's Chicken is coming to Chatham on 87th

Photo by Lee Edwards - BlockClubChi
Well I'm glad to see that the garish signs from the King Food & Deli has been removed along with their bulletproof glass to be replaced by a different business. This building which was formerly a Church's Chicken is going back to its original function.

Lee Edwards of BlockClubChi informs us:
After complaints from residents, community leaders and the neighborhood’s alderman, a controversial Chatham convenience store that used bulletproof glass and sold junk food and cigars has been replaced with a restaurant.

A new Krispy’s Fried Chicken & Seafood restaurant location recently opened its doors in place of the King Food and Deli convenience store, which Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) labeled a “problem business” this summer.

Krispy’s Fried Chicken & Seafood is a restaurant chain based out of Wichita, Kansas, with four existing locations on Chicago’s South Side.

“I’m glad the community got together and made the owner rethink his business model because his former model wasn’t conducive for the Chatham community,” Sawyer said. “It’s not ideal but it’s better than what it was before.”

The new restaurant at 400 E. 87th St. is the result of several conversations between the alderman, the store’s owner, who also owned King Food and Deli, and Melinda Kelly, executive director of Chatham Business Association, Sawyer said. He said he voiced his opinions about the business, which were well-received by the business owner, who ultimately decided to convert the store into a restaurant.
We see the good people over at Concerned Citizens of Chatham have already been debating this new development since last month.

Capitol Fax: Hard times are driving African-Americans away from Chicago area

Sorry to have missed this yesterday. The CapFax discusses a study and a column by Crain's Greg Hinz regarding why Blacks are leaving the Chicagoland area.
For instance, while the unemployment rate in the region dropped from 9 to 7.6 percent overall, among blacks it dipped just four-tenths of a percentage point, or 0.4 percent. That's significantly smaller than the drops among Latinos, Asians and non-Hispanic whites, even though the unemployment rate was and remains far higher among blacks, more than 17 percent.

Similarly, median household income among blacks is still off nearly a tenth—9.4 percent—among blacks. In comparison, among whites, the drop was 1.5 percentage points; among Hispanics, 4.2 percentage points, with Asians gaining a bit. And while the drop-off in labor force participation rates was smallest among blacks in the 2010-17 period compared to other groups, blacks already had and still have the lowest rate, with just over 60 percent holding a job or actively looking for one.

The result: African-Americans are leaving, while the population of whites, Latinos and Asians is up, if only modestly so. Those findings had been previously reported, but in its new report CMAP breaks it out by those with and without jobs, and some of the data is eyebrow-raising.

Among non-Hispanic whites, Asians and Latinos age 16 to 64, a clear majority of 53 percent to 64 percent, respectively, of those leaving the region already hold jobs. But among blacks, only 42 percent are employed. The remaining 58 percent of those moving either are unemployed or out of the workforce and not looking at all.

CMAP Associate Policy Analyst Aseal Tineh said there could be various reasons for the latter distinctions, such as more rapid aging among white residents. But overall, it's likely that African-Americans here are having a harder time finding jobs, and a harder time getting jobs that pay well, she said. Beyond that, the report itself notes previous research that black commuters tend to have a longer trip to work than other area residents.
The question is what can we do about it?

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Capitol Fax: “Welcome to the Machine”

Who says the Chicago Democrat machine is dead? It seems as if it keeps going. Of course not in the most classic ways of course. Check out Rich Miller's round-up with regards to machine politicos on his CapFax blog.

Ald. Burke has his fundraiser after federal raid

[VIDEO] I just have to say, the audacity. Just remember that it was just last week Ald. Burke's offices at city hall and in his 14th Ward were raided by federal authorities serving a search warrant. Tuesday evidently he's holding his annual fundraiser.

One of Burke's main niche in local politics is his influence in the election of Cook County Judges. As Derrick Blakely notes in his report Ald. Burke has millions in his campaign war chest. For an aldermanic campaign that's unimaginable, but consider that he probably isn't using even half of that in his Aldermanic campaign. Besides for the most part he often has no serious opposition if any at all. Thus he gets to use this cash for other purposes - especially personal or political purposes.

I just needed to share this, here's Monday's Burke round-up from CapFax

Pop-ups expected to grow in Chicago thanks to new licensing system

Perhaps an idea for those who own real estate in the community. Create a spot for those "microbusinesses" to come in and establish their businesses. Perhaps this should be a trend in a variety of vacant store fronts or other commercial buildings. What do you all think?

Got wind of the above report from ABC 7 via Ald. Michelle Harris' (Ward 8) fb page.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Tribune: Why the federal raid on powerful Ald. Ed Burke has left Chicago mayoral candidates quiet #ChiMayor19

Well the discussion over the federal raid on the powerful chairman of the committee on finance Ald. Edward Burke continues:
But in the wake of federal agents raiding Burke’s City Hall and 14th Ward offices Thursday, the 21 candidates running for Chicago mayor — most of them on a proclaimed platform of reform — had very little to say about one of the most astonishing political developments in the city’s recent memory.

There were no news releases, few tweets and little professed outrage.

That’s because many of the race’s front-runners have some form of exposure, serving alongside Burke in the city’s political hierarchy, or counting him as a friend or mentor. And as the Burke investigation plays out in the final months of the Feb. 26 mayor’s race, the political fallout will leave some grasping for how to reconcile their self-professed desire to change City Hall with their ties to an iconic Chicago politician in the crosshairs of federal investigators.

On Friday, at least, few of them were talking.

State Comptroller Susana Mendoza got her political start with Burke’s backing and considers him a friend, even celebrating with him as a guest at her wedding. She declined to discuss his federal heat.

City Hall veteran and attorney Gery Chico worked at Burke’s Finance Committee as a young researcher and long has considered him a close friend and mentor. He declined an interview.

Bill Daley is the son and brother of two former mayors who navigated the halls of power with Burke, the two families’ 11th and 14th wards rooted in the Southwest Side. For decades, each represented separate pillars of power with their own fiefdoms within the city’s political structure. He wouldn’t talk about Burke, who has made at least $30,000 in contributions to Daley family political funds over the years.

Neither would Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, a fellow party leader who has benefited from Burke’s support in the past.

Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas and former Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy also wanted no part of discussing how their desire to make City Hall more efficient and businesslike would intersect with Burke’s potential departure.
 Wait what about the man who's mayor now, Rahm Emanuel?
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday refused to weigh in on whether Ald. Ed Burke should step down from representing his ward or give up his Finance Committee chairmanship a day after federal agents raided the alderman’s government offices, saying it’s too early to know exactly what the dramatic episode means.

On the question of whether Burke should run for a 13th full term in February or retire from the council after agents pulled boxes and computers from his City Hall and Southwest Side offices Thursday, the mayor said that’s up to his constituents.

“We live in a country of laws. They haven’t even charged him,” Emanuel said after a downtown jobs announcement. “And so, all I would say is, the decision of what happens in the 14th Ward are to the voters of the 14th Ward. And I think that’s where you should respect that process, in that basis. You don’t need me to guess about what are the implications.” 
The answer is to let it play out?

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Chance the Rapper's 15 min lesson on Chicago politics #twill

[VIDEO] If you recall Chance the Rapper bought Chicagoist (which was shut down in 2017 because the Ricketts family who owned parent DNA Info shut down all operations) and now we see the direction where he wants to take it. He's getting himself involved in the elections this years especially by endorsing one mayoral candidate.

Either way this video is quite hilarious and makes a few references to Ald. Ed Burke (Ward 14) who got his with a search warrant this past week. Either way while Chance himself plays a character he speaks to people out on the streets who either have no idea what an alderman does, how many wards are in Chicago, or even who their alderman are.

He even interviews many candidates for Alderman especially in the 9th and 15th wards. We see how difficult it is for someone to run for office in Chicago. What does it take to inject fresh blood into Chicago's city council? What does it take to make it easier to run for office in the city?

|Finally we see an hilarious performance by comedian Hannibal Buress who plays 51st Ward Alderman Al Duhrman (see what they did there). Anyway Al Duhrman is exactly what the stereotype of an alderman would be for many in Chicago or for sure outside of our city unfamiliar with what they do.

If this is the direction Chance is taking with Chicagoist, I'm looking forward to it! :P

Below for reference is a tweet that has a link to a Sun-Times article about Chance's vid.

Joe Zekas R.I.P.

 Joe Zekas ran the real estate news website YoChicago . If you have been following that site and their social media channels i.e. YouTube o...